A little girl learns to step out of her bubble of safety and into the scary world of friendship in this beautifully painted, rhyming picture book from debut author McGlincy and artist Meunier (Loie’s Disease, 2016, etc.).
In a wordless two-page spread, Wheezie Stevens, a blonde girl, is surrounded by a blue, star-speckled bubble beneath a tree while blurred children play in the background. This sets the stage for the girl’s first-person narrative. She once lived in a bubble “Filled with hopes and dreams,” where she cuddled her bear and read her book. She saw the beauty of the world but often felt alone. While her imagination filled her bubble, her sadness and tears eventually made it feel like she could flood her once-safe space. She reaches out a hand to another child, depicted as an Asian-American boy, who pulls her from her bubble in a beautiful wordless spread. Intended to depict the struggles of a child with cystic fibrosis (with which the author is also diagnosed), the narrative has a more universal theme of reaching out when help is needed. Although some of the rhymes are a stretch (magnolia/hallelujah, time/rise), the metaphors are well-considered and heartfelt. Meunier’s textured, impressionistic paintings give nuance to Wheezie’s emotions and the potential as she begins her brave new adventure. For children unsure of how to reach out beyond their isolation, this would be an excellent pairing with Lam’s Wallpaper (2018).
An imaginative, inspired depiction of emerging from isolation.